Celebrating the 125th years anniversary of the Madrid Agreement – Issues to look back and plan for 2017

2016 marked the 125th anniversary of the Madrid System’s founding treaty (1981 – 2016), this is the major landmark year with many notable achievements.

1. Increase the number of members and the accession commitments

Since the signing, membership of the Madrid Agreement (the Agreement) has grown steadily and this year, Brunei Darussalam officially became 98th member. In addition, there are other countries are also agreements and intend to participate in the Agreement, such as Brazil (to join in mid-2018), Canada and the remaining members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as several African and Caribbean nations.

2. Registration of mark number 1.3 million, record number of international applications filed

With membership on the rise, the number of international trademark registrations reached 1.3 million. And by the end of November 2016, the Madrid System had welcomed over 9% more applications as compared to the same time last year, marking our seventh consecutive year of growth. So far, the European Union is the top filer, followed by the United States and Germany.

3. Madrid becomes a one-treaty system

In October 2016, the Madrid Union Assembly moved to suspend the application of Articles 14 (1) and (2) (a) of the Madrid Agreement, preventing any potential new members from acceding to the Agreement only.

Accordingly, from now on, all new members will be required to accede to the Madrid Protocol (or to both the Protocol and the Agreement), effectively making Madrid a single-treaty system with one unified set of rules. Contracting Parties will continue to benefit from the Protocol’s unique features and flexibility.

4. Redesigned e-Services and new web content

This year, the Madrid focused on the creation of several new online resources, a System-wide initiative to deliver new and enhanced services to support users to obtain and manage international trademark registrations. The notable points such as:

– An updated version of the Madrid Goods & Services Manager;

– An enriched Future Members Page with information to support countries considering accession to the Madrid System, including a model Road Map to accession and an Accession Kit;

– A redesigned Madrid System homepage, with new “How To” guides delivering a wealth of information on how to file an international application and how to manage an International Registration.

5. Looking ahead to 2017

The Madrid will become a truly global system for trademark registration. In the coming year, members and users can look forward to:

– Ongoing development of the System’s rules and regulations, including amendments to the Common Regulations;

– The launch of a new Madrid Member Profiles database;

– Continued expansion of the Madrid System’s online resources.

Source: WIPO